The Herald’s recent editorial, “City Council lets BLM erect a shrine until the election. What comes next?” (Sept. 2) is problematic. It portrays the BLM memorial in distinctly pejorative terms, describing “flowers dying of thirst” rather than framed photographs honoring Black lives lost to racial violence. It overlooks the memorial’s purpose as a peaceful space for people to honor, grieve and to unite in the pursuit of racial justice. It relegates BLM to a political crusade of the Democratic party and declares that to deny this fact is propaganda. This assertion is not only wrong but dangerous.
BLM is a response to state-sanctioned violence and racism, conceived of as a way to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The editorial’s gross mischaracterization of BLM distorts its mission and serves to undermine its legitimacy. That Democrats support BLM is of no moment – the President could support BLM but instead espouses hateful rhetoric inflaming racial tensions.
BLM is not partisan. Until we accept that the fight for racial equality transcends politics, enacting meaningful change will be difficult.
Finally, the editorial forecasts that the memorial will give rise to unfettered construction of shrines throughout Durango. This argument is a meritless distraction from what matters most: realizing racial justice in our country. I applaud the City Council’s decision to allow the BLM memorial to remain.